Markets were off to a good start after the long weekend amid a Consumer Department report showing a 1% increase in spending last month, highest in almost seven years. Some of the stocks worth watching today are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Let’s take a closer look at why these stocks are in the spotlight today and see what hedge funds think of each of them.
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Apple To Extend Its iPhone Launch Cycle Amid Saturation
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock has lost around 0.14% so far today amid a report from Japan’s newspaper, Nikkei, which claimed that the California-based tech giant is considering to extend its iPhone launch cycle to once every three years. The source said that the change is coming because there is a scarce room left for major feature enhancements and innovation. Currently, Apple launches a new iPhone model after every two years. A new phone is expected this year, but apart from the minor changes, it will be almost similar to its predecessor. Apple recently reported a decline in its quarterly revenue for the first time in 13 years. The source said that business of Apple’s suppliers in Asia will be affected after the iPhone launch period extension. As of the end of first quarter 2016, 152 hedge funds from our system are long Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with approximately $14.8 billion worth of shares in aggregate. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the biggest stake among these investors with the total ownership of more than 11 million shares.
Alibaba Halts Drug Sales on Tmall Website
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has stopped selling medicines on its Tmall website after an “urgent” directive from Chinese regulatory authorities, which ordered the company to stop drug sales via third-party platforms. In a statement, Tmall website management announced that they will comply with the orders of China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). The orders from CFDA come as a surprise as the government in China recently started encouraging retail sales of over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to solve the high cost of medicines in the country. At the end of the first quarter, 67 funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA). This shows a declining hedge funds sentiment as 77 funds were long the Chinese eCommerce giant a quarter earlier.
On the next page, we will discuss Micron, Oracle and Verizon.